Children's Chores

I am a firm believer that kids need to do work around the house. My husband fervently believes that and is constantly evaluating if the kids are doing enough around the house. One of the reasons it is so important for kids to do work around the house is that it helps them to feel connected and part of the family. There are books on foster care and adoption that tell the new family to get the child immediately involved in jobs around the house. This is one avenue that helps the child feel that he belongs to this family.

Another reason I firmly adhere to dividing jobs up amongst the children is that it helps deal with the selfish nature children naturally have when they are born. Having to do jobs for the family helps them to realize that they are not the only people in the world. So, while I expect each of my kids to have their room cleaned and picked up, I expect them to help out in areas that have nothing to do with them at all.

When we homeschooled we had what we called Room of the Day for each of the kids. They each were assigned a room that they were to make sure was picked up and cleaned up everyday. They also were given jobs that they did in that room each day of each week. (Mondays – dusting, Tuesday – vacuuming etc.) I LOVED this system! I loved starting our school day with the entire house clean and tidy – all accomplished in less than 20 minutes. However, with our new routine and going to school this has not been able to be kept in our morning schedule. In the afternoons I do the room of the day by myself. To insure that the house stays half way picked up we have the kids take anything upstairs that is theirs on their way up after family devotions. With my kids being gone almost 10 hours out of each day, I have found that my house stays pretty well maintained on it’s own.

We still wanted to maintain that they have jobs that they did that served the family. With the limited time home that left us with kitchen cleanup after the dinner time meal. We have dived all the jobs up into three sections: Washer / Dryer / Cleanup. Each child has one job for the entire week. Jobs change on Monday and the checklist for each job is located on the refrigerator in the kitchen.

Put Away any dry dishes in the drainer
Wash Dishes
Rinse out sink
Wipe off Counters
Wipe off Stove
Empty and Fill up water container from fridge
Empty Trash
Take Recycle items down to the recycle bin in the laundry room

Clear off the place settings on the table ( use the dish bin under the sink to save steps and dishes) Dry Dishes
Put dishes away
Hang towel up on the stove handle
Rinse out drying side of the sink
Shine entire sink
Fill up water bottles and put in door of fridge for School
Bring in lunch boxes from mudroom / set on counter

Clear off all food items from table
Put leftovers in containers ( see if mom wants you to put any in small container for lunch tomorrow)
Wipe off every chair
Wipe off table
Take chairs in front room
Vacuum entire kitchen
Return chairs to proper place
Set table for breakfast

I do desire to have the younger kids involved in the jobs; but at this time it just is not conducive to the flow of things to try to have that happen. I do have Zak and Anna help me in the kitchen in the afternoon as I wash dishes and prepare for dinner.

I pack the lunches and get things ready for the next day after they kids get the kitchen jobs done. I do an inspection at that time. If a certain person’s jobs do not pass inspection and have not been done correctly, they loose their reading time before bed and have to do the job correctly during that time. This allows me to not be frustrated that there is not enough time in the schedule for them to come back and do the job right. They also all love their reading time – so it helps to have an incentive for them to make sure that they do the job right.

In the morning at our house we have what we call ‘Sunshine Chores’. These are the chores they do as soon as they get up every morning – (when the sun is coming up- hence; their name). Each of the kids do the same chores all having to do with getting around in the morning. The older kids have been doing these chores since before they could read. I made 3x5 cards with stick figure drawings of the certain tasks they were to do. When they finished these tasks they would turn the card on their ring and do the next card. (When the Maxwell’s came out with their system I was amazed at how mine was similar to theirs – only without the technology and my drawings were a bit more… ‘homey’.

Spurgeon Kids’ Sunshine Chores

Get up
Make Bed
Get Dressed
Hang up Pj’s
Put dirty clothes into hamper
Comb Hair
Turn out Light
Find Mom

Even three weeks into school and Zak has his Sunshine chores down pat. Now, he does require someone – me – to stand there and make sure he moves to the next task. He has this habit of getting hopelessly sidetracked! His little detours are very funny – if I got to bed on time and feel rested in the morning. If it was a late night – I find his little detours a bit grating. God has had me confessing my impatience to Him while a little 7 year old is looking at the dust under his bed and asking odd questions at 5:45 in the morning! Glad God is up and ready to listen!!

What routines do you find helpful in keeping your family on task?

Thanks for stopping by. I am so glad you did!




Persuaded said...

I love that idea of "room of the day"... in fact I might just implement that in my house! We have a morning chore time- all the kids' chores must be completed before breakfast. Evening chores are to be completed after dinner and before the evening's activity (watching a movie, playing a game, church, etc) It's worked for us fairly well☺

Rebecca said...

How do you get past the "I'll just do it myself" thing? Sometimes (and I DO appreciate when my kids help) I cringe when I see something done...ahem...different than I would. ;)

Jolene said...

I just now read the last few posts about schedule and I personally am loving your ideas. Of course, I'm not in the boat (yet) to need these tips for a family, but I really do think you've got a great system! I also would be interested in other's opinions since different things work for different people! Thanks for these thoughts!!!! ~Jolene

west family said...

Wow you do run a tight ship, you make your kids 'hang up' their jammies! :o) Yikes! I am scared of you! lol

handmade toddler clothes said...

What a great post.
Martin Luther in the Small Catechism saysn the 7th Commandment "Thou shalt not steal" that we are to help our neighbor to improve and protect his property and business. That I think is part of teaching children to work around the home.